ctcLink May 2015 update

Fair warning! This is a long one. But, here are some important updates on current ctcLink project activities. No need to read them all. Just the ones that interest you. If you have a question about something you don’t see below, let me know!

Data Conversion and Validation
Data Conversion Cycle 8 was a huge success! All FirstLink colleges’ (FLCs) employees and students were successfully converted (100%!). In addition, 99.9% of enrollment data converted successfully, which is a major milestone as that includes all students, courses, classes and program plans. Finance had 100% success for the General Ledger Summary (the conversion for closed fiscal years) and 99% success for the Detail Year (the monthly extracts for the current open fiscal year). HR/Payroll had great success as well with 98 – 99% for Balances and Job Conversions. That will reflect well in executing successful payrolls. Next Steps: FLCs have begun validating the converted data and will continue through June. The scheduled Data Validation Workshops will provide FLC SMEs an opportunity to address validation questions and concerns and receive assistance on continuing data validation activities. The workshops will also cover the post-go-live data cleanup steps.

Payroll Parallel
One more gross-to-net Payroll Parallel test is scheduled May 26 – June 12 using 04A (first half of April) payroll data to make sure everything calculates correctly in ctcLink prior to FirstLink go-live. This gives FLCs and the project team the chance to do a mass gross to net comparison of a [nearly] complete payroll and make sure everything we thought we caught is, in fact, fixed. FirstLInk college payroll SMEs will be involved in this work for a majority of the schedule.

CEMLI Testing
CEMLI is the abbreviation for configurations, extensions, modifications, interfaces, reports and other changes or additions to the out-of-the-box software that must be designed, developed and tested before go-live. The majority of testing that remains is testing of CEMLIs. ctcLink Project Manager Jeff Thompson said it is the critical path item and mechanisms have been put in place to meet the June 1 completion date for System Integration Testing (SIT). SBCTC/ctcLink and Ciber team testers are in a dedicated testing room performing testing on a daily basis. After SIT comes User Acceptance Testing (UAT), in which college SMEs do the testing. The target date to complete UAT is June 15.

Chart of Accounts
ctcLink Finance Functional and Project Management staff have been working with State Board, FLC and Wave college SMEs, and committee/council groups to create plans for first-time Chart of Account development and deployment for the Wave colleges as well as potential redeployment plans for FirstLink colleges should they want to make changes to their locally defined Chart of Account values sometime after go-live. Emmett Folk will be at the Budget Accounting & Reporting (BAR) meeting on May 28 to provide an overview of the new PeopleSoft Chart of Accounts, emphasizing work the Wave colleges can begin to engage in now to help in that first time deployment effort.

Item Types
In PeopleSoft, an Item Type is a sub-type to an Account Type. For example, within the Account Type “Fees” might be the Item Types “Parking Fee” and “Lab Fee.” Validation spreadsheets that show how college Fee Codes are being translated into PeopleSoft Item Types in Student Financials (including accounting distribution information) have been sent to FirstLink colleges for review. This initial load of Item Types has also been done as part of the test conversion Cycle 8 work so they can be available for FirstLink “Day in the Life” testing as well as in the FirstLink colleges’ Sandbox practice environment.

Cash Management
The project team continues to work with the various banks involved in the initial FirstLink go-live for local college operations as well as for Central Payroll. Cash Management testing was recently migrated to User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

Activate Your Account (AYA)
The tool students and staff will use to activate their ctcLink account and set their password has been migrated to the FirstLink colleges’ Sandbox environment. FirstLink college SMEs and testers can now try out the AYA process and login as themselves, just as they will after go-live.

Day-in-the-Life for FirstLink colleges
This activity will give FirstLink college SMEs the chance to practice their day-to-day work in ctcLink and see the integration points between pillars/modules using real-life examples with real college data. It is scheduled to begin mid-June and continue through the first week of July.

ctcLink training—for just-in-time-training and beyond—is now the responsibility of the SBCTC ERP Support Center in Olympia. The project training team is now part of the ERP Support Team and they are working closely together to help prepare Tacoma and Spokane staff for FirstLink go-live. The Training Manager for the ERP Support Center started this week and the training schedule for FirstLink (FLC) colleges was shared with FLC Project Managers on Friday, May 22.

Responsibility for the implementation, delivery and use of the full suite of reporting tools provided by SBCTC has been consolidated under the SBCTC Data Services Department in Olympia. This includes PS Query, BI Publisher, OBIA and direct access to near real-time transactional data through the use of Golden Gate replication. PS Query is the functionality within PeopleSoft to extract data without writing SQL statements.  BI Publisher is a template-based reporting tool that leverages standard technologies which allows users to create, manage, and deliver reports and documents. Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA) are pre-defined dashboards by pillar and module, such as Retention, Budget Summary, Payroll Analysis, At Risk, and Progression. Golden Gate is a replicated environment that provides each college district with their own database containing all tables for each of the three pillars, Campus Solutions, Human Capital Management and Finance. Any questions about Reporting or any of the tools can be directed to Carmen McKenzie at cmckenzie@sbctc.edu.

Service Desk
The ctcLink Service Desk is up and running and ready for business. In addition to being ready for production (go-live), it is currently set up to support FirstLink colleges in their Sandbox and Day-in-the-Life practice environments. It has also been set up to support general questions from Wave 1 project leaders.

About ctclinknews

ctcLink is a single, centralized system of online tools for student services and administrative functions for all 34 community and technical colleges in Washington. In the next several years, ctcLink will be implemented on every campus, providing online tools for everything from admissions to graduation. The first three ("FirstLink") colleges came online in August 2015. A wave of 8 more colleges (cleverly named "Wave 1") will switch over to the new ctcLink system in August 2016, followed by Wave 2 in 2017 and Wave 3 in 2018.
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